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Equality Policy Brief: Week Two

Welcome to Week 2 of your Equality Arizona Policy Brief!

Legislative Brief: A short sigh of relief this week as no anti-LGBT bills were first read or assigned to a committee. That does not mean we are in the clear! We have seen bills dropped that exploit and perpetuate anti-transgender myths - making Arizona one of 17 states to entertain legislation that actively does harm to our community. Nancy Barto, along with 22 Republican co-sponsors dropped a proposal that would ban trans and gender nonconforming youth from engaging in activities like basketball, swimming, and track that bring out social skills, help teens stay healthy, and affirm their identity. These proposals override non-discrimination policies enacted by cities and counties in Arizona, and trample on standards set by professional organizations like the NCAA. This is not a game, when people see this kind of legislation it rolls back the growing understanding and empathy that Americans have for their transgender family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. We are also concerned that this encourages parents to report trans youth, their parents, and their schools ensuing a “gender witch-hunt”. As we continue to see bills that require special attention, Equality Arizona wants to connect you directly with your legislator so you may talk to them one-on-one about why you are committed to affirming the lives of our LGBT youth, as it is a gift that every young person deserves. We need to continue to show up and show our leaders that we demand they let us live without judgment, fear, or shame so that our families can thrive. Come out to our  Lobby Day on February 12 , and tell our legislators who would rather see our kids disappear, see us retreat into the closet, or not live as boldly and unapologetically as we do that we are not going anywhere; that we exist in large numbers, and we will not permit any impositions on us or our children. If you can, take the day off from work and meet LGBT folks and allies from all over the state as we take a golden opportunity to show all legislators that we are Arizonans who just want to live healthy and authentic lives.  RSVP here! We will collaborate with GLESN and HRC to bring you engaging speakers and provide all the training you need to meet with elected officials to advocate for policies and actions that benefit the LGBT community. Food and drinks will be provided, we ask everyone wear magenta! If you would like a t-shirt please follow our  sign-up process . Education Brief: Transform Arizona which began its work in the Tucson School District is expanding its wings with eyes set on protecting LGBTQIA+ youth in Arizona. A small but loud contingency of regressive stakeholders in Maricopa County and Statewide continue to pressure school districts & state lawmakers to rescind hard-won protections for opt-in inclusive, fact-based sex-ed. These courses are vital to young people, especially those struggling with sexual abuse, gender identity & sexual orientation. They provide needed information about their bodies, trauma & finding a place at the table. Imagine if older generations had had access to this information at a young age. Think about how much less we would have had to suffer. Your support is imperative in helping to fight for our rights as LGBTQIA+ Arizonans.  Election Brief: 'The Presidential Preference Election (PPE), is an election in which voters can choose who they would like to be their presidential candidate in the upcoming General Election. Party winners of the Arizona PPE are officially determined at the party's national convention. The provision for an open primary does not apply to the PPE. This means that only voters of a specific party may vote on that party's ballot. Independent voters may change their voter registration to a designated party by February 18, 2020. After the election, voters may change their registration back to Independent if they so choose .’

Equality Arizona is committed to registering members of the LGBTQ+ community to vote. On Saturday, January 25th, we took volunteers out to the Melrose district to get people registered and to re-register independents who wished to participate in the Presidential Preference Elections. If you are an independent or are currently unregistered and wish to participate in choosing a contender for the General Elections in November, you must change your registration by February 18, 2020. You can register online or if you want one of our representatives to help you register, please reach out. We know that it only takes %3 of the population to swing an election. If all LGBTQIA+ Arizonans make their voice known in the coming elections we will swing the state and the nation in our favor. Please do your part to protect ALL LGBTQIA+ Arizonans by registering, re-registering & voting in the Presidential Preference Elections on March 17th. 

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